An Introduction to Deviated Septum

nose checkup

Story at-a-glance -

  • Your nasal septum should be found exactly at the center of your nose. However, approximately 80 percent of the American population has a nasal septum that’s a little off-center
  • When the nasal septum is tilted to one side of the nasal cavity, it’s categorized as a medical condition known as a deviated septum
  • Researchers found that 20 percent of newborns develop this deformity during intrauterine life or during birth

Have you been experiencing difficulty breathing and inflammation inside your nose? It’s highly likely that you have a deviated septum, a medical condition that occurs when the thin wall that separates your nasal passages (also known as the nasal septum) is tilted toward one side of the nose.1 In order for you to better understand this medical condition, let’s discuss the nasal septum and its importance to your overall well-being.

The Importance of Nasal Septum Function

Your nose is the primary organ that brings in filtered and humidified air into your lungs. It’s made up of numerous parts, all of which are equally important.2 One of these vital parts is the nasal septum — the thin wall inside your nose that’s made of cartilage and connective tissues, and covered in each side with mucous membranes.3

The nasal septum not only divides the nasal cavity into left and right sides, but it also provides structural support to maintain the appearance of the nose. It’s responsible for sustaining smooth laminar airflow through the nasal cavities, too.4 Without the nasal septum, air may not be able to reach your lungs due to the turbulence inside your nasal passages.5

Ideally, the nasal septum should be found at the center of your nose. However, approximately 80 percent of the American population has a nasal septum that’s a little off-center.6

How a Deviated Septum May Affect You

There are many reasons why the nasal septum may become displaced, from genetic predisposition to injury during birth. When the nasal septum is tilted to one side of the nasal cavity, then it’s categorized as a medical condition called a deviated septum.7 A deviated septum is seen as a common condition; researchers behind a study in the Indian Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery found that 20 percent of newborns develop this deformity during intrauterine life or during birth.

While a deviated septum doesn’t always cause bothersome symptoms, some cases may still lead to physiological, anatomical, cosmetic and even psychological complications over time.8 Some of the symptoms of this condition include breathing difficulties and frequent sinus infections.9

Severe cases of this condition can be fatal, especially in infants, since they’re obligatory nasal breathers. It may also cause sleep apnea,10 a life-threatening condition that refers to impaired breathing during sleep. The good news is that you can prevent the complications caused by a deviated septum if you know how to cope with it.

These Pages Will Help You Manage the Effects of a Deviated Septum

A deviated septum can be extremely uncomfortable, but there are ways to manage it. Read these articles to learn valuable information about this condition, its possible causes and complications, and the different treatment options that may help clear your nasal passages and allow for unobstructed breathing.

MORE ABOUT DEVIATED SEPTUM

Deviated Septum: An Introduction

What Is a Deviated Septum?

Deviated Septum Symptoms

Deviated Septum Causes

Deviated Septum Surgery

Deviated Septum Treatment

Deviated Septum Prevention

Deviated Septum Diet

Deviated Septum FAQ

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What Is a Deviated Septum?

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